TU hosts Syrian refugee crisis awareness concert on Sept. 29

By Joseph Hockey '18 on September 27, 2017

Presentations and a brief film will follow the performance by Layalli Arabic Music Ensemble

The Layaali Arabic Music Ensemble (via their Facebook)
The Layaali Arabic Music Ensemble (via their Facebook)

The beautiful music and rich culture cultivated by an ancient people are in danger from the ongoing Syrian Civil War.

Towson University will host a concert by the Layaali Arabic Music Ensemble on September 29 at 7 p.m. to raise awareness about Syrian refugees and the war that has plagued their home country for six years. Organized by Kimberly Katz, associate professor of history, this concert is her way of showcasing distinctive Arabic music and teaching the university community about the ongoing crisis.

Hear an interview with Michel Moushabeck, the leader of ensemble, on Dan Rodricks' podcast, Roughly Speaking

“The concert brings a diverse group of musicians form the Arab world to share an important part of their cultures,” Katz said by e-mail. “Yet, the musicians are also deeply committed to addressing the issue of Syrian refugees, one of the central issues of our time.”

Layaali will perform in the Howard J. Kaplan Concert Hall in the Center for the Arts. The members of the band include Kinan Idnawi, one of the world’s top oud players. 

The program’s educational focus will introduce the audience to the Syrian American Medical Society, an organization focused on medical crisis relief. It will also feature short presentations by a scholar on the vetting process of refugees into the United States, background on the Syrian conflict from a State Department official and a brief film.

“I wanted to bring a lesser-known aspect of the Arab world to campus than the one that the 2016 campaign emphasized,” Katz says.

The concert is free and open to the public.

This story is one of several related to President Kim Schatzel's priorities for Towson University: Creating a More Diverse and Inclusive Campus